Editorials

Replace retiring teachers

tsc

Teachers Service Commission (TSC) chief executive Nancy Macharia. FILE PHOTO | NMG

The impending retirement of about 25,000 teachers within the next two years will plunge the education sector into a crisis if urgent measures to replace them are not taken.

Schools already face a staffing problem, with the student-teacher ratio strained because of high enrolment. We cannot afford to see this ratio deteriorate.

Doing so would water down the quality of education, negating all the efforts to match students’ skills to the demands of the jobs market. The country is already facing a shortage of 26,804 teachers due to the policy of 100 percent transition from primary school, which has significantly raised enrolment in secondary schools.

Furthermore, the realignments in classroom settings due to social distancing requirements during the Covid-19 pandemic period means that when schools reopen fully in January, more teachers will be needed to handle students who will now be sitting in smaller groups.

Granted, this sector already receives the biggest share of budgetary allocation. However, putting in more resources to replace the retiring teachers is a bitter pill the government must be prepared to to swallow.